Malavika’s Mumbaistan: Growing older and wiser
Kangana Ranaut’s voice on Monday sounded as if it were coming through a fog; she was in Mumbai, we were not. We were speaking for the first time since she celebrated her 31st birthday. The call was about her being chosen to represent India in August at ‘Gandhi Going Global’, an event in New Jersey aimed to disseminate Gandhian values across the globe. She will share the dais with Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. But as all conversations with the actress go, it was about this and that: personal truths, public engagements, life and growth and everything else in between. “I believe in many of Gandhiji’s mental and spiritual tools. This is not the first time I have been invited to represent India along with the likes of Winfrey,” she said. “The first time was in London at Tina Brown’s Women In The World seminar. I see these things as a validation of who I am, what I stand for. It means that after all that I’ve done, the fights I have taken on, the career choices I have made, the lobbies I have challenged, I am still here, still being invited to discussions like this. It’s like the gamble paid off…”
“The gamble?” we enquired. “Yes. It all could have gone horribly wrong. But I followed my inner truth, did what I thought was right for me, said exactly what I wanted to say; and the invitations to speak on a Gandhian platform with world leaders means that I must have done something right. ” “Right ho”, we said, adding, “You go girl.” And so we disconnected, with a promise that both having turned a year older last month, we deserved to get together for a drink, when we next found ourselves in the same longitude. Even Gandhi might have approved.
“For the photoshoot of my SS2018 collection, ‘A Lemon Wedge’, at my studio, I created a mini orchard to give a look and feel of the actual event day,” says designer Maheka Mirpuri. The last shoot had involved the penthouse of a mid-city five-star, festooned with buntings and confetti and monogrammed color coordinated cupcakes, leggy models and a Persian cat so magisterial and moody that everything else paled in comparison.
“On Friday, guests will walk into my store at Prabhadevi and experience an apple orchard to view the collection, which is a fab mix of florals, pastels, sequins and very, very glam,” she said.
“This time, it’s all about pretty summer dresses, sequined bomber jackets and collared crushed throw overs in lace with big exaggerated taffeta bows,” she added.
Mirpuri is of a sunny disposition and is always trying to spread good cheer and sunshine around and even though we did not see ourselves in this sartorial exuberance, we empathised with its spirit.
The Lemon Wedge had reminded us of another association. “If life offers you a lemon, make lemonade,” our late mother used to often say.
“This summer, it’s also about style, attitude and easy-breezy silhouettes that lift up your mood and adds that pop of zing!” said Mirpuri.
GOING, GOING, GONE…
Affable art maven Vickram Sethi and his son Tushar have pulled in a winner this week it appears. Their Mumbai-based auction house AstaGuru, is said to have emerged as the country’s market leader in a recent two-day online auction that yielded total sales of Rs891.6 million (U$13.77 million), beating established names like Christie’s. Two canvasses were responsible for breaking world records, by the late Manjit Bawa and Tyeb Mehta, the latter, wrote journalist John Elliot, who covered the auction process, “one of the most famous and highly priced members of the mid-20th century Progressive Moderns group.’ What’s more, AstaGuru’s feisty challenge to more established marques is not the only one. Saffron Art, run by the Vaziranis, we are told, is also giving the internationals a run for their money. We recall Bawa and Mehta, vividly; both soft spoken men, who most likely would have been embarrassed by the idea of auctions and world records.
In his piece, Elliot writes of the run-up to the auction: The auction house had thrown ‘a large dinner event, its first, in the top end Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai for the auction,’ but unlike industry practice, ‘it does not usually splash out on the sort of lavish entertaining done by other auction houses in Mumbai, Delhi, London and New York’.
Art for auction’s sake.